Jim DeMint was Tea Party before The Tea Party was cool.
During the Bush years, there were times when he was the lone beacon of conservative light in an ocean of squishy Republican darkness — and he caught Hell for it. His staffers used to ask for any help or support he could get on social media or the blogs when he was getting beaten up because even though he was the one guy representing the grassroots conservative position, he was under constant attack by his own side behind closed doors.
Since then, DeMint’s stature has risen, more Republicans have started to come around to his way of thinking and partially because of his efforts with the Senate Conservatives Fund, we’ve begun to add more Republicans who put the American people first — like Pat Toomey, Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
We already knew DeMint intended to retire at the end of his term, which is unfortunate, but he has decided to resign next month and move on to the Heritage Foundation. In most respects, it’s not such a bad thing. The seat isn’t in danger (Nikki Haley will appoint someone), there are other young conservatives who will represent DeMint’s point of view, and the Heritage Foundation will get one of the biggest names in the conservative movement to run their organization.
Still, conservatives are losing the man whose conduct was the standard for how Republicans should behave in the Senate. That loss will be felt keenly. Even so, I’d like to thank Jim DeMint for being a conservative champion and doing what was right for the country, even when it wasn’t easy. His leadership and willingness to stand up for what’s right will be greatly missed in the Senate.